Jennifer Felton

IMG_0041An avid reader since childhood, Jennifer loved to read any book she could get her hands on. She especially enjoyed tales with paranormal or supernatural elements. Her love of words evolved as she grew older and later in life became someone her friends turned to when they wanted a school paper read and proofed.

After college, where she received a degree in Education, she reached out and networked with several authors and joined the ranks of ‘Editor”. There was nothing that could quite touch the thrill of being able to shape some unexplored world that would land in the hands of thousands – in the shape of a book.

All the books she had read throughout her life stoked her imagination, but she had never tried to put down on paper the characters she had in her own head. That was, until the characters began their rebellion. It seemed she no longer had a choice but to tell their tales.

Through Life and Death, is the first in her One Hell of a Romance series that is being published through Booktrope where Jennifer also serves not only as author – but also editor, proofreader, and book manager for their other authors!

You can keep in touch through her various social media outlets:

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1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something?I’ve actually always been interested in writing and always felt like there were stories that needed to be told. When I started to write, it was because the characters that were in my head got to the point where they insisted on getting their stories told. Everything that was happening with these characters just kept coming to me; it wasn’t stopping. Soon, I realized that I didn’t want to forget the stories so I started to write the pieces that came to me. Eventually, I had a full book. But it was terrible! The story was all wrong. I needed to learn more about my characters. One character in particular, Sebastian, seemed adamant about telling me an origins story, so I used it as a character development exercise. Those three pages blossomed and grew into Through Life and Death (One Hell of a Romance Prequel)!

2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? Haha. This implies a ‘typical’ writing day. I wish that was true. I work full time, overnights. So there is no typical day for me – when it comes to anything. I spend more time than I’d like either working or sleeping. But I spend as much time as I can writing, whether it’s ideas in a notebook or writing out pieces of the story in a notebook when I get a few minutes to myself.

3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it?All the time! I have eight chapters still that need to be written on my newest book, but I just can’t seem to get it out. The worst part is, most of it is already plotted out! When I focus on something else, and stop trying so hard, that’s usually when it all comes to me!

4.Are you a plotter or pantser when it comes to writing a story?I know it may seem like I am a plotter, but really, I tend to do things by the seat of my pants. It’s a bad habit, and I’m trying to be better. Sometimes it’s just difficult though.

5.Are you traditionally or self-published?I have my books through a publisher, Booktrope. It’s amazing, as is my team! 

6. What was the publishing process like for you? Any advice to aspiring authors?The publishing process was scary! First, it was the fear of rejection. Then came the elation of actually being accepted, and then suspicion! Haha! A part of me just doesn’t know how to believe that it’s any good and people would want to actually read my stories. But no, really, the whole journey has been amazing. This way of publishing, this hybrid publishing, it isn’t for everyone. For me, for now, it works. I have a talented pool of individuals to choose to work with. My teams for my books are chosen by me, and I don’t have to fork out the money up front for editing, book covers, marketing – the team just earns a percentage of royalties off of sales. *I* love these stories that I have to tell, but then again, these characters have been living with me for years. We have a special bond that you just can’t explain to someone who isn’t a writer – especially a fiction writer.  But at the end of the day, don’t fear the voices in your head. Your characters deserve to be heard too! They have amazing stories to tell and it’s up to you, the author, to do those stories justice by using all of the tools available to you.

7.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author?Honestly, I don’t have any big accomplishments so far, as my books have just been released – such as making a top 100 list, but let me tell you. There is NOTHING in this world, quite like holding your very own book in your hands. The feeling when you see your book in print for the first time, it’s incredible!

8.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us, including genre and targeted audience? My books are all part of a series, One Hell of a Romance. Right now, the prequel and companion books are available. There is a trilogy to the series that are the main meat and potato, which will start to be released early 2016, plus another companion. They are paranormal/romance/mystery. The paranormal subgenre is all dependent on which book in the series you are reading. The target audience would be 16 and over. There’s a little language in the first two books, and no sex scenes.

However, that will change a bit once the three main books come out. While the second companion will be more along the lines of the first two books released, the trilogy is definitely geared more towards New Adult audiences. This series, apart from the two companions, focuses on a father and his twins. Tobias is a vampire, and the King of Hell. Two millennia ago, he fathered Sebastian and Maya with Katricne, the Goddess of Time. Through Life and Death (One Hell of a Romance Prequel) takes place in the late 1800’s and just gives some introductory information with some mystery into it. Through Love and Hate (One Hell of a Romance Companion) is a paranormal romance story about a young woman who is willing to give up everything, including her soul, to save her best friend who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The companion was really the trigger to become published. It’s an extremely personal story, as it was written while I was trying to deal with my feelings after finding out a close family friend was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. A lot of what the character Anya, the one with cancer, faced, is what my friend faced. Writing became my outlet, and this is my way of keeping her fight going. 

9.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.)Honestly, I’m still trying to figure this out myself! Really, though, you just have to be yourself. I know it’s hard to not just peddle your books on social media (we are all guilty of this), but really, when you have hundreds of other people doing the same thing, it gets lost and is meaningless and time wasted.  To me, the best thing you can do is find some common ground to interact with people through. If you have something that happens fairly regularly in your life, share it. Make people laugh or be horrified, or SOMETHING when they come across your posts. It’s what keeps them coming back. Do it with hashtags! These will let those who connect with these posts find them more easily.

You need social media, but it’s not a crutch or an end-all-be-all. It’s there to connect, not to use to push your books onto people. It won’t work – no matter how hard you try. That doesn’t mean that if you can make an interesting post that’s relevant to your books, and include ONE main link, that people won’t go to it. Just don’t go overboard. When you have a post with four or five links, it’s obvious your just fishing for clicks.

Interact with other authors and fans, without talking about your books. You can mention it when you introduce yourself, but that’s just one part of who you are. PLEASE, do not just go to Amazon and ‘gift’ your books to all your family and friends. This is considered cheating to most authors, especially those who work hard for the little sales activity that they see! 

10.How long on average does it take you to write a book?Honestly, this depends. I have a book (which is now the last of my One Hell of a Romance trilogy) that was supposed to be the first book in my series, and it took me over two years to write it. It’s done, but it’s a mess. It needs a complete re-write.  On the other hand, Through Love and Hate took me a little over a month to write, and didn’t need any major re-writes. It all depends. Sometimes the characters don’t shut up, and other times I have to try to fill in the blanks. They don’t always like how I fill them in, so then I have to go back. Those are always a pain, but in the end, the story gets told how it was supposed to, and the end product is better!  

11.Tell us about the book cover/s, how the designing came about, whether you had much input etc. Book covers! I love book covers. To me, they are one of the most important, if not THE most important thing about a book! When I’m looking for a new book, the first thing I take into consideration is the cover. If the cover doesn’t catch my attention and make me interested, then I don’t expect the book to keep my attention. On these books, I don’t even read the blurb. I have a lot of input on the covers. I chose the stock images, and explained to my cover designer (Scott Deyett – he is amazing!) what my vision is. He takes what I give him and goes with it. He hit a homerun with both covers, in my eyes anyway!   

12.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time?I am the mama to a wild and crazy Pomeranian Chihuahua named Sherlock. A few years ago, he was diagnosed with encephalitis. It was scary at the time, but he’s made pretty much a full recovery! He’s off meds (for now, knock on wood) and seems to be doing great!

I also just bought a house with my fiancé, so things are quite hectic on the home front! He has three kids, two boys and a girl, who live with us. I work full time (overnights) so I spend a lot of time at work and sleeping. Sometimes I wonder how I will get *anything* done, let alone *everything*!  I’m not big on T.V., but there are a few shows that are religiously watched in my house! They include: Supernatural (you will see some inspiration from this show in my books), Gotham, The Walking Dead (yes, even Fear the Walking Dead), Modern Family, Criminal Minds, and The Last Man on Earth!

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